Travel consultant Jane Wooldridge answers a potpourri of reader transport questions from stream cruises, Amtrak, Alaska cruises and more.
Q: My mother and we wish to take a journey on a Danube. We wish a vessel that is honestly upscale. What do we recommend?
A: Uniworld (www.uniworld.com) is deliberate a Chateau-and-Relais homogeneous of stream cruising. Since we haven’t sailed with them myself, we consulted Carolyn Spencer Brown, executive editor during CruiseCritic.com, who also endorsed trips organised by Tauck Tours (www.tauck.com), that she described as “Ritz Carlton-style.” She and we have both listened good reports on Scenic Tours (www.scenictours.com), that offers itineraries in France, Germany and Russia.
If we aren’t set on a Danube, we competence journey a oppulance boat journey in France. A few years ago we sailed with French Country Waterways (www.fcwl.com), that offers wine-and-cuisine oriented trips by Burgundy, Champagne, a Loire and Alsace-Lorraine. The outing enclosed guided visits to ancestral towns and castles, stops during tiny wineries and cooking during a Michelin-starred restaurant. we rarely advise a knowledge — though note that by a time we come home, you’ll substantially need incomparable trousers.
Q: I’m holding a sight to Tampa. we arrive on a Sunday afternoon, and there’s no automobile let bureau during a sight station. Is there a automobile let association that will come collect me up?
A: On another day of a week, yes. But dual circuitously offices that offer pick-up use — Enterprise, (813) 254-4221; and Hertz, (813) 226-4205 — are sealed during a time we arrive. Your best gamble is to take a cab to your hotel. Alternatively, we competence wish to change your skeleton and fly.
Q: My partner and we wish to go to Alaska in a summer. We’re both into a view and inlet some-more than a cities. We found a 10-day outing on a website where we transport with other people though are on your possess for many a day. The outing in doubt has us alighting in Fairbanks, holding a sight to Denali inhabitant park, where we spend a day; holding a train to a seashore and afterwards boarding a Holland America boat for thoroughfare opposite Prince William Sound, a Gulf of Alaska and afterwards several days in a Inland Passage. Is there is anything we should watch out for, or any choice we competence suggest? We looked during a choice of a smaller qualification — what they call a safari debate — though we both felt that was too expensive.
A: The channel you’re articulate about is a good one. Most journey lines offer Alaska land-sea furloughed options, so if this one doesn’t suit, we can find alternatives around http://www.hollandamerica.com; http://www.princess.com and http://www.rctalaska.com, among others.
If you’re going to offshoot adult with a journey on one end, a debate is mostly a many reasonable approach to go. Renting a automobile in Alaska is expensive, and renting one-way is officious mind-boggling, generally if we keep a automobile for several days. (We used one automobile to expostulate from Seward to Anchorage, afterwards forsaken it off and picked adult a second automobile that we returned a week after to Anchorage — about half a cost of gripping a strange automobile for a whole 10-day trip.)
Since you’re many meddlesome in nature, we might wish to journey spending some-more time in Denali National Park. Regardless of how prolonged we stay there, you’ll wish to debate a park by convey train — not by a debate bus. (Shuttle buses aren’t as posh as a debate buses, though they concede we to get off during one stop, transport to a next, and afterwards get behind on another shuttle. You’ll still stop for wildlife observation and lavatory breaks. Make reservations so you’re certain to get a seat; http://www.nps.gov/dena/).
Another seagoing choice is a Alaska State Ferry System (ww.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/). The ferries don’t have a same amenities and amenities as journey ships, and they aren’t always cheaper, either, given cabin and food are extra. But we do have some-more control over your channel and can stay mixed days in a places you’d like to see most.
If we do select a compulsory journey ship, ask about naturalist programs. When we sailed, we found a lectures fascinating — though too few. We could have selected a boat that enclosed some-more visit lectures had we known.
Regardless of how we travel, devise to flare out for a glacier transport on a Juneau Icefield. A helicopter is compulsory to get there, that means a outing won’t be inexpensive — a going rate for a cruise-booked glacier outing is $300-plus — though it will expected be a prominence of your vacation.
Follow up: Last month we answered a doubt about finds along a I-95 mezzanine for a traveler who creates an annual New York-to-Miami pushing trip. E.M. wrote in with a recommendation for Captain Stan’s Smokehouse in Woodbine, Ga.
“Not distant from 95 and a genuine dive, with good barbecue… and we hear dancing is fun there on Friday nights. Owner a hoot.. from Ft. Lauderale with lots of tales.” TripAdvisor, Yelp and Urban Spoon all give it high marks. I-95 Exit 14, about 45 mins north of Jacksonville, Fla. 912-729-9552.
Jane Wooldridge is a Miami Herald’s business editor and a leader of a prestigeous Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of a Year award. She formerly served as The Herald’s transport editor and continues to write transport stories for inhabitant publications including Travel + Leisure magazine, where she is a unchanging contributor. Send questions to email@example.com.